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Background and history
by Base Camp Communications
Backcountry.com is a pure online retailer focused on outdoor gear for
the serious recreational athlete. The site aggregates only the best
outdoor gear from top brands such as The North Face, Oakley, Burton,
Rossignol, K2, and more than 200 other powerful brands.
The idea for Backcountry.com came from a series of brainstorming
sessions where Jim Holland and John Bresee were trying to understand how
a love of backcountry skiing and the Internet could be combined. Bresee
ran a Website for his ski resort newspaper and had come to understand
both the power of the Internet and the futility of trying to make money
from a content site. After much research—and backcountry skiing—it was
determined that it would be possible to bring together a community of
backcountry skiing experts who sought the best gear available.
Backcountry.com was founded in 1996 with a $2,000 investment and the
company reached profitability in its first full calendar year, 1997.
Backcountry.com has enjoyed sustained triple digit growth every year
since, culminating in 134% YOY gains for 2003.
During the first few years Backcountry.com faced serious challenge from
a collection of well-funded competitors. Companies like Fogdog, MVP
Sports, Planet Outdoors and Altrec.com offered the promise of e-commerce
riches to large outdoor vendors who were willing to drop ship or share
the operational burden. Backcountry.com stuck with the tried and true
tactic of firm orders, holding inventory, on-time payment, and great
customer service. While the online retailer faced initial resistance
from outdoor vendors who questioned their means, company by company,
over seven years, Backcountry.com has built a network of well over 100
vendors who believe in their model.
Backcountry.com now services as many as 25,000 visitors daily via its
world-class Website. Beginning in June of 2004, orders will ship out of
a new state of the art 47,000 square foot warehouse on California Avenue
in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company has been recognized as a Top 50
Website by Internet Retailer Magazine, featured on CNBC’s Squawk Box and
profiled by the Associated Press and Business 2.0.
“We started with baby steps, however, and never spent more than we had,”
said Holland. “We still focus on making things add up month by month
(not 5 years from now). We don't take our growth and our situation for
granted and recognize that we must always be evolving. The only constant
The company mantra, however, is the same as it was in 1996, “We use the
gear we sell.”
Discount-Online-Shopping.com is a Backcountry.com associate